Along the road he found a blind girl. Four years old, maybe, smoke-blackened in a tattered and dirty blue dress, standing under a stunted oak.
He coaxed the little girl to come with him. She walked by his side, stumbling a little, clinging to the smoke-and-grease stained sleeve of his coat.
Sometimes over the next few days he carried her -- fording streams, for example, or hiking up steep stretches of the mountain roads. He put her on his shoulders, and she clung with both fists to his hair.
He didn't know what to call the blind girl as she didn't speak. Mute, too?
Finally, he gave her a name: Helen.